COLUMBUS, Ohio (WJW)– Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine provided an update on the Ohio National Guard assignment in hospitals to help with staffing issues related to COVID-19.
The governor was joined by Ohio Department of Health Director Dr. Bruce Vanderhoff and Maj. Gen. John Harris Jr.
“Sadly today, we have the highest hospitalization count, people with COVID, during this pandemic,” DeWine said. “What’s happening in our hospitals, our hospitals filling up, is being driven by people in Ohio who are not vaccinated and the numbers clearly show that.”
“I think it’s important not to panic. I think it’s important for all of us to do what we have to.”
DeWine said 35,962 people have been admitted to Ohio hospitals because of COVID since June 1, when vaccines were widely available. Of those, 2,687 were fully vaccinated. That means that 92.5% of those hospitalized with COVID in the state were not vaccinated.
DeWine announced an additional 1,250 members of the Ohio National Guard will be mobilized to hospitals.
Harris said there are already about 460 members of the Ohio National Guard in the Cleveland area, 160 in Toledo and 100 in Columbus. Smaller numbers will be in Dayton, Mansfield and Lima.
“The goal is to expand the hospital’s capacity. Most of the hospitals tell us their challenge isn’t the shortage of beds, but shortage of staffing to staff those beds,” Harris said.